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DEATHS: 1935 MALEVICH — 1734 RICCI — 1789 PIERRE 1967 HOPPER  1952 SPENCER  1904 BIANCHI  1859 TURPIN   1782 WILSON 
BIRTHS: 1625 MARATTI — 1864 HAMMERSHØI — 1838 GRIGORESCU
^ Died on 15 May 1935: Kazimir Severinovich Malevich, Ukrainian Cubist painter born on 26 February 1878, persecuted by the Soviet authorities. His artwork was collected by Nikolai Khardzhiev, and was plundered by crooks when Khardzhiev left the Soviet Union in 1993. A Malevich exhibition was held at the Guggenheim in New York starting on 13 May 2003.
— Malevich was born near Kiev. He studied at the Moscow Institute of Painting, Sculpture, and Architecture in 1903. During the early years of his career, he experimented with various Modernist styles and participated in avant-garde exhibitions, such as those of the Moscow Artists’ Association, which included Vasily Kandinsky [04 Dec 1866 – 13 Dec 1944] and Mikhail Larionov, and the Jack of Diamonds exhibition of 1910 in Moscow. Malevich showed his Primitivist paintings of peasants at the exhibition Donkey’s Tail in 1912. After this exhibition, he broke with Larionov’s group.
      In 1913, with composer Mikhail Matiushin and writer Alexei Kruchenykh, Malevich drafted a manifesto for the First Futurist Congress. That same year, he designed the sets and costumes for the opera Victory over the Sun by Matiushin and Kruchenykh. Malevich showed at the Salon des Indépendants in Paris in 1914. At The Last Futurist Exhibition in Petrograd in 1915, Malevich introduced his non-objective, geometric Suprematist paintings. In 1919, he began to explore the three-dimensional applications of Suprematism in architectural models.
     About 1914, after two years of painting in a Cubo-Futurist style, Malevich began to work in an abstract style, which he called Suprematism. For Malevich, the guiding principle of Suprematism was “the supremacy of pure sensation in creative art,” best represented by the square, which he considered the most elementary, basic, and thus supreme formal element; but he increasingly combined the square with the circle, other geometric shapes, and even curved lines. He began by limiting himself in his Suprematist paintings to black, white, gray, and red, but he expanded his palette as his compositions became more complex.
      Malevich, like other artists of his time, believed that the external world could no longer serve as the basis for art, which had, instead, to explore pure non-objective abstraction in the search for visual analogues to experience, both conscious and unconscious. As he wrote in 1915, “Nothing is real except sensation . . . the sensation of non-objectivity.” He first showed his Suprematist works at The Last Futurist Exhibition in St. Petersburg in December 1915. The exhibition, which included a broad sampling of then-current tendencies in Russian avant-garde painting, has become famous for inaugurating the two directions that would largely govern artistic production in Russia (including architecture, graphic design, theater, and the decorative arts) for the next seven years: Suprematism, and the closely related (although more socially oriented) movement Constructivism [more]. Other artists affiliated with Suprematism include Ilya Chashnik, Ivan Kliun, El Lissitzky [23 Nov 189030 Dec 1941], Liubov Popova, Ivan Puni, Aleksandr Rodchenko, Olga Rozanova, Nikolai Suetin, and Nadezhda Udaltsova.
      Following the Russian Revolution in 1917, Malevich and other advanced artists were encouraged by the Soviet government and attained prominent administrative and teaching positions.
      Malevich began teaching at the Vitebsk Popular Art School in 1919; he soon became its director. In 1919–20, he was given a solo show at the Sixteenth State Exhibition in Moscow, which focused on Suprematism and other non-objective styles. Malevich and his students at Vitebsk formed the Suprematist group Unovis. From 1922 to 1927, he taught at the Institute of Artistic Culture in Petrograd, and between 1924 and 1926 he worked primarily on architectural models with his students.
      In 1927, Malevich traveled with an exhibition of his paintings to Warsaw and also went to Berlin, where his work was shown at the Grosse Berliner Kunstausstellung. In Germany, he met Jean Arp [16 Sep 1886 – 07 Jun 1966], Naum Gabo, Le Corbusier, and Kurt Schwitters [20 Jun 1887 – 08 January 1948] and visited the Bauhaus, where he met Walter Gropius. The Tretiakov Gallery in Moscow gave Malevich a solo exhibition in 1929.
Malevich, left, with Khardzhiev      Using the pretext of Malevich's connections with German artists, Soviet authorities, who repressed any non-realist art, arrested him in 1930 and destroyed many of his manuscripts. In Malevich's final period, he was forced to paint in a representational style. Malevich died Leningrad.
     This artwork had been among the Russian avant-garde artwork and writings collected by Nikolai Khardzhiev [1903-1996], which, when he left the Soviet Union in 1993, was plundered by corrupt officials, confidence men, and crooked art dealers. Malevich died in poverty in Amsterdam, where the Stedelijk Museum has the best collection of his work, acquired, as by other museums and collectors, under questionable circumstances.
[1933 photo: Malevich, left, with Khardzhiev, in Moscow >]

LINKS
Self Portrait (1907; 1232x1200pix, 214kb)
Self Portrait (1911; 557x602pix, 45kb)
Self Portrait (1933, 73x66cm)
The Wedding (600x599pix _ ZOOM not recommended to blurry 1400x1397pix)
An Englishman in Moscow (1914, 88x57cm)
The Aviator (1914, 125x65cm)
Complex Presentiment: Half-Figure in a Yellow Shirt (1932, 99x79cm).
Morning in the Village after Snowstorm (1912, 81x81cm) _ The paintings of the Russian avant-garde have, in general, elicited two types of interpretation: one focuses on issues of technique and style; the other concentrates on social and political issues. The former method is usually applied to Kazimir Malevich’s early paintings, grounded as they are in the forms of Cubism, Futurism, and other contemporaneous art movements; the latter largely avoids Malevich in favor of more politically engaged artists such as El Lissitzky, Aleksandr Rodchenko, and Vladimir Tatlin.
      From the formalist’s standpoint, Morning in the Village after Snowstorm is, in its mastery of complex colors and shapes, a perfect example of the newly created Russian style, Cubo-Futurism. The figures have been called a continuation of the genre types Malevich portrayed in his Neo-primitive paintings, their depiction seemingly reliant on Fernand Léger’s work, which Malevich could have known from an exhibition in Moscow in February 1912 or through reproductions. This phase in Malevich’s career has been seen as his formidable stopover on his journey toward abstraction and the development of Suprematism.
      But to ignore the political and social dimensions of Malevich’s art would be a disservice. Malevich came from humble circumstances and it is clear in autobiographical accounts that vivid memories of his country childhood compensated for his lack of a formal art education. Morning in the Village after Snowstorm demonstrates that his hard-won skills as a sophisticated painter were rooted in an unmistakably Russian experience. If art can be said to augur the future, then Malevich’s repeated decision—on the brink of the October Revolution—to depict peasants cannot have been merely coincidental.
Untitled [RFD mailbox?] (1916, 53x53cm) _ Kazimir Malevich proposed the reductive, abstract style of Suprematism as an alternative to earlier art forms, which he considered inappropriate to his own time. He observed that the proportions of forms in art of the past corresponded with those of objects in nature, which are determined by their function. In opposition to this he proposed a self-referential art in which proportion, scale, color, and disposition obey intrinsic, nonutilitarian laws. Malevich considered his non-objective forms to be reproductions of purely affective sensations that bore no relation to external phenomena. He rejected conventions of gravity, clear orientation, horizon line, and perspective systems.
      Malevich’s units are developed from the straight line and its two-dimensional extension, the plane, and are constituted of contrasting areas of unmodeled color, distinguished by various textural effects. The diagonal orientation of geometric forms creates rhythms on the surface of the canvas. The overlapping of elements and their varying scale relationships within a white ground provide a sense of indefinitely extensive space. Though the organization of the pictorial forms does not correspond with that of traditional subjects, there are various internal regulatory principles. In the present work a magnetic attraction and repulsion seem to dictate the slow rotational movement of parts.
Composition with the Mona Lisa (1914; 1500x1164pix, 314kb)
Suprematism (1915; 1216x845pix, 59kb)
Peasant woman, dynamic (1912; 1242x1191pix, 110kb)
Black Square (1923; 1084x1084pix black square in a 1400x1400pix dirty-white frame, 376kb)
24 images at The Athenaeum112 images at RAG
—(100515)
^ Born on 15 (18?) May 1625: cavaliere Carlo Maratti (or Maratta), Italian painter who died on 15 December 1713.
— He was the last major Italian artist of the classical tradition that had originated with Raphael, and his pre-eminence among the artists of his time marks the triumph of classicism. Nonetheless his art unites the virtues of disegno and colore, and he created a grandiose and decorative style that satisfied the demands of the Church. At the same time his late works had a grace and refinement that anticipated the development of the Rococo and Neo-classicism.
— Carlo Maratti (Maratta) was the leading painter in Rome in the latter part of the 17th century. As the student of Andrea Sacchi he continued the tradition of the classical Grand Manner, based on Raphael, and he gained an international reputation particularly for his paintings of the Madonna and Child, which are reworkings of types established during the High Renaissance. The rhetorical splendor of his work is thoroughly in the Baroque idiom, however, and the numerous altarpieces he painted for Roman churches (many still in situ) give wholehearted expression to the dogmas of the Counterreformation. Maratta was also an accomplished fresco painter, and the finest portraitist of the day in Rome. He had a large studio and his posthumous reputation suffered when the inferior works of his many students and imitators were confused with his own paintings.
— Sebastián Muñoz and Johann Ferdinand Schor were assistants of Maratti.
— Maratta's students included Sir Godfrey Kneller, Francesco Trevisani, Antonio Balestra, Giacinto Calandrucci, Giuseppe Passeri, Martino Altomonte, Cosmas Damian Asam, Girard Audran, Giovanni Raffaello Badaracco, Giuseppe Bartolomeo Chiari, Johann Jakob Frey I [1681-1752], Hugh Howard, Johann-Rudolf Huber, Jacob Christoph Le Blon, Agostino Masucci, Domenico Parodi [1672-1742], Pierre Parrocel, Giuseppe Passeri, Girolamo Pesci, Paolo Gerolamo Piola, Tommaso Redi, Joseph Werner II [1637-1710].

LINKS
Self-portrait (1684, chalk, 37x27cm)
Adoration by the Magi (in Garland) (75x61cm) _ The flower garland was painted by Mario Nuzzi, nicknamed Mario dei Fiori [1603-1673]. He painted the flowers on several other paintings by Maratti, too.
Adoration by the Shepherds (1696, 95x98cm) _ The painting is a variant of the fresco executed for the gallery of the Palazzo Quirinale in 1657, revised in 1696. Another variant is in the Louvre, Paris.
Assumption and the Doctors of the Church (1689) _ The tranquil calm of this scene was derived from cleverly following Raphael's model. It sums up the way that Maratti managed serenely to dominate the image he painted. Pietro da Cortona's exuberance had by now subsided. From this we can deduce that Roman art was losing its impetus after the death of Bernini (1680) and was about to enter a phase of soporific academicism.
Madonna and Child Enthroned with Angels and Saints (1690) _ This altarpiece possesses a richness of color that is unusual for Maratti. He was, in fact, influenced by looking at Venetian painting, which can also be seen from the way the composition is laid out as well as the expressions and gestures of the characters. Maratti had an eclectic ability to quote from others but always toned it down in a sober and controlled fashion. Indeed, this might be seen as his main claim to fame. Otherwise he was an isolated figure trying to handle the difficult passage between one style and another, between one generation and the next.
Pope Clement IX (1669, 158x118cm) _ Apart from demonstrating the favors granted by important Roman patrons, Maratti's portraits are also perhaps the most lively and penetrating part of his work. He took pains to capture the exact physiognomy of his sitters in whom he sometimes seemed to uncover an incurable feeling of melancholy hiding just below the surface. Here his admiration for Raphael's portraits is evident, but he has added a more stylish air to suit the tastes of the high Baroque. This painting was made shortly before the death of the Pope who was on the throne from 1667 to 1669. It is signed on the paper sheet on the table.
Rebecca and Eliezer at the Well (1657, 47x62cm) _ A leading figure in Rome's cultural world in the second half of the seventeenth century, Carlo Maratti is a good example of both the strengths and weaknesses of the Baroque. His technical ability was unsurpassed as was his knowledge of formal models. At the same time he seemed to struggle to be creative in a truly innovative fashion. He grew up in the classically-inspired atmosphere of Nicolas Poussin's circle and had close contacts with Bellori, a man of letters. Maratti studied sixteenth-century painting admiringly (especially Raphael and Correggio) and joined the group of Emilian artists who had succeeded the Carracci. Most of his career was spent in Rome where he painted numerous large altarpieces, excellent portraits and fresco cycles, such as the one in Villa Falconieri at Frascati. He was praised as "Raphael reincarnate" and became leader of the Roman school after the deaths of Pietro da Cortona and Bernini. His painting was typically polished and flawlessly stylish. He attracted imitators and admirers all over Italy.
Apollo Chasing Daphne (1681, 221x224cm) _ The story is taken from the Metamorphoses of the Roman poet Ovid. After Apollo had offended Cupid in his capacity as an archer, the god of love shot two separate arrows out of spite. One of these struck Apollo himself, who became inflamed with love for Daphne, the daughter of the river god Peneus. With the other, with opposing effect, he hit Daphne, who as a result fled Apollo's advances. Maratti depicts the point at which Apollo almost catches up Daphne and she is rescued by changing into an olive tree. In the foreground lies Peneus, recognisable as river god by his crock of flowing water.
      Carlo Maratti, a native of the Marches and a student of Andrea Sacchi, was one of the leading painters of the Rome of his day. The prestigious commission for this painting came from Louis XIV of France. In it the king consciously followed the image of the Sun King by selecting a theme with the sun god Apollo in the main role. The moment in the story chosen here is very traditional and well-loved in the pictorial arts. A famous and virtuoso model is Bernini's group in the Galleria Borghese in Rome. Even so, Maratti's work was rejected by the French court when his work arrived in 1681. The Académie that the king had founded, with its ideals of unity of place, time and action, reproached Maratti for depicting the river god Apianus in the background, although Ovid mentions only later in the story that this god lamented Daphne's lot together with Peneus.
      In accordance with the art theory of the time, which encouraged rivalry between artists, many French artists attempted to improve Maratti's composition by observing the academic rules in their own works with the same theme. In this way Maratti's painting became not only one of the first, but, ironically enough, also one of the most influential manifestations of classicism at the French court. Maratti's figures also contain various borrowings from classical antiquity and Renaissance models. His Apollo follows the Apollo Belvedere in the Vatican. The nymph to Apianus' right strongly resembles a print by Marcantonio Raimondi based on Raphael. Later Ingres and Manet sought inspiration from similar sources for their Odalisque and Le Déjeuner sur l'herbe respectively.
A Young Man (1663; 600x488pix)
 
^ Died on 15 May 1734: Sebastiano Ricci (or Rizzi), Italian Rococo era painter, specialized in historical subjects, born in 1659, uncle of Marco Ricci [1676 – 21 Jan 1729].
— Italian decorative painter. He was born in Belluno and is considered a member of the Venetian school, but before he settled in Venice in 1717 he led a peripatetic life, working in numerous Italian cities (Bologna, Rome, Modena, Florence, and Parma) before going to Vienna where he worked in the Schönbrunn Palace. In 1712 he went to England with his nephew, Marco Ricci. They left in 1716, after Sebastiano failed to get the commissions to decorate the dome of Saint-Paul's and Hampton Court Palace. He returned to Venice, and on the way home he stopped in Paris and visited Watteau, some of whose drawings he copied. His unsettled existence is a reflection not only of the demand for his talents but also of his penchant for illicit love affairs, which often led to his having to move in haste, and once almost resulted in his execution. In view of this it is not surprising that his work is uneven and sometimes shows signs of carelessness, but he had a gift for vivid, fresh coloring, and his itinerant career was important in spreading knowledge of Italian decorative painting. Little of the decorative work he did in England survives except the Resurrection in the apse of the Chelsea Hospital Chapel and some large but damaged canvases on the staircase at Burlington House (now the Royal Academy).
— One of the principal figures in the revival of Venetian painting in the 1700s, Sebastiano Ricci came from a noted family of artists. After formal artistic training in Venice, he traveled widely, working in Vienna, London, and Paris. His dramatic, sumptuous, and vivid style recalled the art of Paolo Veronese and appealed to royal and ecclesiastical patrons across Europe. Late in his career, Sebastiano often collaborated with his nephew Marco Ricci. Even while Sebastiano's career was flourishing, he was developing a reputation for his amorous exploits and run-ins with the law. "Sebastiano was a lusty man, inclinable to fat," one contemporary noted, and he was as famous for his excessive gastronomical habits, sexual exploits, and countless imprisonments as for his art. In Venice he made Maddalena van der Meer pregnant and then tried to poison her. She discovered his intention and had him imprisoned. With the help of a sympathetic nobleman, Sebastiano was freed and fled to Bologna, where a papal official forced him to marry. The scandal, however, had little impact on his success. Cardinal Antonio Pignatelli [13 Mar 1615 – 27 Sep 1700], who later (12 Jul 1691) became Pope Innocent XII, performed the nuptials and continued to commission paintings from Sebastiano.
— Ricci's students included Giovanni Antonio Pellegrini and Francesco Fontebasso.

LINKS
Christ and the Woman Taken in Adultery (40x50cm; 400x519pix, 46kb _ ZOOM to 800x1038pix, 545kb _ ZOOM+ to 1776x2305pix, 2805kb, and admire the cracks in the paint)
The Abduction of the Sabine Women (1700, 197x304cm; 402x620pix, 59kb _ ZOOM to 804x1240pix, 197kb _ ZOOM+ to 1608x2480pix, 800kb) _ This picture depicts an episode from Roman legendary history: by false pretences, Romulus, founder of Rome, lured the daughters of the Sabines to Rome and had them abducted by his soldiers to secure the continued existence of the newly founded city. The first Romans, it seems, were short of women. The story of the abduction is told essentially through five couples, arranged symmetrically as if on a stage. Rather like in a study of movement, the same motif is shown from various viewpoints. Ricci modeled his central couple on Gianlorenzo Bernini’s marble group Pluto and Proserpina. With his variation on the theme, the artist showed himself to be a match for that sculpture’s multiple viewpoints. His classical view of art placed beauty of pose above the realistic expression of pain. The women’s helplessness is translated into graceful gestures, exaggerated in a way that harks back to Mannerist painting of the late sixteenth century. The glowing colors reveal Ricci’s examination of the work of Paolo Veronese, while the pastel illumination of his palette already anticipates the Rococo. Ricci marked the start of developments in seventeenth-century Venetian painting: where his brushstrokes become sketchy, they employ thick impasto. The story of the abduction was written by Plutarch in his Life of Romulus (abridged adaptation of the relevant passage):
      The abduction of the Sabine women took place in the fourth month after Rome was built. According to some, Romulus himself believed that the future greatness of Rome depended upon the benefits of war, so that he took away only thirty maidens, more to give an occasion of war than out of any want of women. But this is not very probable; it would seem rather that, his city being filled with men, few of whom had wives, they would not stay long. He also hoped, that after the women were appeased, this offense would turn into a motive of confederacy and mutual commerce with the Sabines. So he said that he had found an altar of a certain god hid under ground, in whose honor he appointed a day, the 18th of the month Sextilis, now called August, for a splendid sacrifice, and for public games and shows. Many people came, including Sabines, and Romulus sat in front. His men stood all ready armed, and, at a signal from him, drew their swords and with a great shout took away the daughters of the Sabines. They say there were but 30 taken, but, according to other accounts, they were 527, or 683. They took no married woman, save one only, Hersilia by name, and her too unknowingly; which showed that they did not commit this abduction wantonly, but with a design purely of forming alliance with their neighbors by the greatest and surest bonds.
   _ See also The Abduction of the Sabine Women (1629, 280x426cm, 1207x802pix, 182kb) by Pietro Berrettini I da Cortona [01 Nov 1596 – 16 May 1669]
Battle of the Romans and the Sabines (1700, 197x303cm; 402x620pix, 53kb _ ZOOM to 804x1240pix, 181kb _ ZOOM+ to 1608x2480pix, 758kb) _ This picture continues the legend of Rome’s foundation. Three years after the abduction of the Sabines, their fathers and brothers attempt to avenge the injustice. Battle is engaged before the gates of Rome, but the women do not simply stand and watch. Not prepared to lose their next of kin from whatever side in a self-righteous bloodbath, they throw themselves into the battle to separate the combatants. The dynamism that events confer on these figures is not just a characteristic of Baroque painting, but of sculpture, too. Ricci’s paintings can thus be readily compared with contemporary sculptures such as Diana and Callisto by Massimiliano Soldani Benzi. Their graceful gestures appear choreographed, their bodies captured in mid-movement. Both artists express this fleeting quality through erratic poses created by markedly shifting the figures’ centres of gravity outwards. The fluttering garments take up the movement and further reinforce it. Ricci’s painting also derives part of its inner tension from the contrast between the men’s raw violence and the women’s idealized, vulnerable beauty despite their fear and terror. According to Plutarch, in his Life of Romulus, the Sabine men eventually attacked Rome, entering thanks to the treason of Tarpeia, daughter of the Capitol guards' captain (she asked as her reward the gold bracelets worn by the Sabine soldiers; out of contempt, they threw them at her killing her). After a fierce and inconclusive battle inside Rome, the Romans and the Sabines were about to resume fighting, but they
were prevented by a spectacle, strange to behold. The daughters of the Sabines, who had been carried off, came running, some on this side, some on that, with miserable cries and lamentations, in the midst of the army and among the dead bodies, to come at their husbands and their fathers, some with their young babes in their arms, others their hair loose about their ears, but all calling, now upon the Sabines, now upon the Romans, in the most tender and endearing words. Hereupon both melted into compassion, and fell back, to make room for them betwixt the armies. The sight of the women carried sorrow and commiseration upon both sides into the hearts of all, but still more their words, which began with expostulation and upbraiding, and ended with entreaty and supplication. "Wherein," say they, "have we injured or offended you, as to deserve such sufferings past and present? We were ravished away unjustly and violently by those whose now we are; that being done, we were so long neglected by our fathers, our brothers, and countrymen, that time, having now by the strictest bonds united us to those we once mortally hated, has made it impossible for us not to tremble at the danger and weep at the death of the very men who once used violence to us. You did not come to vindicate our honor, while we were virgins, against our assailants; but do come now to force away wives from their husbands and mothers from their children, a succor more grievous to its wretched objects than the former betrayal and neglect of them. Which shall we call the worst, their love-making or your compassion? If you were making war upon any other occasion, for our sakes you ought to withhold your hands from those to whom we have made you fathers-in-law and grandsires. If it be for our own cause, then take us, and with us your sons-in-law and grandchildren. Restore to us our parents and kindred, but do not rob us of our children and husbands. Make us not, we entreat you, twice captives." Hersilia having spoken many such words as these, and the others earnestly praying, a truce was made, and the chief officers came to a parley; the women, in the meantime, brought and presented their husbands and children to their fathers and brothers; gave those that wanted meat and drink, and carried the wounded home to be cured, and showed also how much they governed within doors, and how indulgent their husbands were to them, in demeaning themselves towards them with all kindness and respect imaginable. Upon this, conditions were agreed upon, that what women pleased might stay where they were, exempt from all drudgery and labor but spinning; that the Romans and Sabines should inhabit the city together; that the city should be called Rome from Romulus; and that they both should govern and command in common.
Prayer in the Garden (1730, 95x76cm) _ In this elegant, late work of Ricci there are reminiscences of Paolo Veronese, especially in the garment of the angel.
Madonna and Child with Saints (1708, 406x208cm) _ This has to be one of the most cheerful altarpieces of the whole eighteenth century. It was directly inspired by Veronese's Sacra Conversazione but the subject is reinvented with a freshness and exquisite coloration that are spectacularly effective. It was commissioned for a side altar in the church designed by Palladio. It is carefully composed using rising diagonal lines that shift the viewer's attention toward the left of the picture, that is to say toward the Madonna and Child. This geometrical rigor (which is disguised by the apparent immediacy of an action-packed scene) also helps to overcome the tricky problem of having so many figures packed into a fairly small space.
The Liberation of Saint Peter (1722) _ This sweeping, dynamic composition was part of the most important cycle of canvases commissioned in Venice in the first part of the eighteenth century. The cycle consisted of twelve pictures destined for the presbytery of the church of S. Stae (its full name is Sant'Eustachio and it overlooks the first section of the Grand Canal). Each picture was commissioned from a different artist, thus bringing them together at the same time as provoking comparisons between their various styles. Apart from Ricci, the group comprised among other major geniuses of Venetian painting in the eighteenth century, Piazzetta, Pittoni, and Giambattista Tiepolo. Thanks to these commissions S. Stae became the most important experimental setting for Venetian art in the early part of the century.
Altar of Saint Gregory the Great _ Ricci was an exuberant personality, internationally renowned and an archetypal "traveling" painter. After training in the Veneto, Ricci spent some time in Emilia (Bologna, Parma and Piacenza). This proved crucial to his development as his style was influenced by the local classicism, deepened when Ricci made a trip to Rome, where Annibale Carraci's frescos in Palazzo Farnese deeply moved him. After a brief trip to Vienna, Ricci went back to Venice in 1708, where his art changed. His Altarpiece of St Gregory the Great was a deliberate homage to Paolo Veronese and inaugurated a totally new era in eighteenth-century Venetian painting, trying to revive the glories of its Renaissance. Compared to his earlier works, his art was now remarkably free in composition and brushwork. This new style of painting was an immediate success. By 1711 Sebastiano had joined his nephew Marco Ricci in London where he remained for five years, working for many great noblemen.
Susanna and the Elders (1713, 83x102cm) _ The artist made this painting during his stay in England in 1713.
Moses Defending the Daughters of Jethro (1725, 114x178cm) and Bathsheba at the Bath (1725, 118x199cm) _ Two companion-pieces
— a different Bathsheba in her Bath (1725, 112x144cm; 640x842pix _ ZOOM to 1400x1811pix) _ Attended by four maids and on the far right, a boy with a mirror, Uriah's beautiful wife, Bathsheba, devotes herself to her elaborate toilette in an enclosed garden. The sight of Bathsheba inflamed King David's desire, and he is usually depicted in a palace-window in the background. Here, however, a maid approaches on the far left with a letter from the king. The painting dates from about 1725 and thus belongs to the artist's late period: its refinement of form and color is reminiscent of the golden age of Venetian painting in the 16th century, in particular of Veronese. One of the most influential painters of his time, Ricci was well on the road to international success by the turn of the 17th century. His career took him to Parma, Bologna, Rome, Milan, Florence, Venice and London. His style bridges the impetuous baroque paintings of Luca Giordano and the Rococo-like, Venetian elegance of Tiepolo.
Dream of Aesculapius (1710, 62x101cm) _ After a long period of study of the greatest figures of late seventeenth century Italian painting, from Pietro da Cortona [01 Nov 1596 – 16 May 1669] and Baciccio in Rome to the Carracci in Bologna, Luca Giordano in Florence and Magnasco in Milan, Sebastiano Ricci achieved a voice of his own characterized by a sparklingly fluent Rococo brilliance which was to gain the artist acceptance in London (1712-1716), and Paris (1716). Especially in paintings of small dimensions Sebastiano Ricci freed himself from all trace of his complex artistic training. Thus in the Dream of Aesculapius every detail of the bed chamber is rendered in the dancing rhythm of his line and the free and easy pictorial style. In the subdued glow of the setting, the scene seems like an animated ballet, fixed for ever in the wonder of bright, spirited color.
Fall of Phaeton (1704) _ Undoubtedly Sebastiano Ricci's dashing virtuoso technique had its roots in the Baroque. In his hands, however, it was translated into an explosive, light-hearted energy.
The Punishment of Cupid (1707) _ This is a splendid example of the work Ricci produced during his Florentine period. It incorporated references to Luca Giordano but brought to them a completely new richness and innovation.
Venus and Adonis (1706), 70x40cm) _ The story of Venus and Adonis, which has attracted not only artists but poets, including Shakespeare, tells that Adonis was the offspring of the incestuous union of King Cinyras of Paphos, in Cyprus, with his daughter Myrrha. His beauty was a byword. Venus conceived a helpless passion for him as a result of a chance graze she received from Cupid's arrow (Met. 10:524-559). One day while out hunting Adonis was slain by a wild boar, an accident Venus had always dreaded (Met. 10:708-739). Hearing his dying groans as she flew overhead in her chariot, she came down to aid him but was too late. In the place where the earth was stained with Adonis' blood, anemones sprouted. Artists usually depict two scenes, the depart and the death of Adonis. This painting represents the first scene. Adonis, spear in hand and with hunting dogs straining at the leash, is impatient to be off, while Venus imploringly tries to hold him back. But she pleads in vain.
The Meeting of Bacchus and Ariadne (1713, 76x63cm) — Bacchus and Ariadne (1713, 189x104cm) _ It was Ariadne, the daughter of King Minos of Crete, who helped Theseus, whom she loved, to escape from the labyrinth with the aid of a ball of string, but all she had in return was to be abandoned by him on the island of Naxos. Here Bacchus came to her rescue. Classical representations show Ariadne asleep when Bacchus arrives, as described by Philostratus. But according to Ovid she was at that moment lamenting her fate, and Renaissance and later artists generally depict her awake. Bacchus took her jeweled crown and flung it into the heavens where it became a constellation. Ariadne was readily consoled by him and they were married shortly afterwards.
Sacrifice to Silenus (1723, 56x73cm) _ In Greek mythology Silenus was a rural god, one of the retinue of Bacchus, a gay, fat old drunkard who was yet wise and had the gift of prophecy. On Ricci's picture the priest, touching the bust of Silenus, is blessing the kneeling people around him.
Paul III Appointing His Son Pier Luigi as Duke of Piacenza and Parma (1687; 656x950pix, 141kb) _ Alessandro Farnese [29 Feb 1468 – 10 Nov 1549] became pope Paul III on 13 October 1534. He was the last of the Renaissance popes and the first pope of the Counter-Reformation. He was a notable patron of the arts: He cajoled Michelangelo [06 Mar 1475 – 18 Feb 1564] into finishing the fresco The Last Judgment in the Sistine Chapel and decorating the Pauline Chapel. At the same time Paul III encouraged the beginning of the reform movement that was to affect deeply the Catholic Church in the later 16th century. He called the Council of Trent which opened on 13 December 1545. Alessandro Farnese was ordained a priest in 1519, but Alexander VI [01 Jan 1431 – 18 Aug 1503] had made him a cardinal deacon on 20 September 1493. Despite his unfeigned personal piety, Alessandro Farnese, while a cardinal but not yet a priest, kept a mistress by whom he fathered four children: Pier Luigi [19 Nov 1503 – 10 Sep 1547], Paolo, Ranuccio, and Costanza [–1545]. Later, as Pope Paul III, he provoked serious charges of nepotism by using his papal influence to further the interests of his children and their families, most notoriously on 18 December 1534 when he elevated to the cardinalate his grandsons, Alessandro Farnese, 14, and Guido Ascanio Sforza [1518-1564, son of Costanza], 16, which displeased the reform party and drew a protest from the emperor Charles V. It was as much for the purpose of securing the integrity of the papal dominions, as for the exaltation of his family, that in 1545 Paul III extorted from his reluctant cardinals and from Charles V the erection of Piacenza and Parma into a duchy for his son, Pier Luigi. A feud arose with Gonzaga, the imperial Governor of Milan, which ended later in the assassination of Pier Luigi and the permanent alienation of Piacenza from the Papal States.
      Of medium height, spare of figure, with an aquiline nose, ruddy complexion, and aristocratic hands, Paul III at age 75 in the full vigor of his pontificate was portrayed by Titian [1487-1576] in Pope Paul III without a Cap (1543; 800x670pix, 89kb). Two later Titian portraits depict the ravages of age on the pontiff but reveal the depth of intelligence and strength that accompanied him to his last breath at 82: Pope Paul III and His Grandsons Ottavio and Cardinal Alessandro Farnese (1546, 200x127cm; 996x832pix, 164kb _ Ottavio Farnese [09 Oct 1524 – 21 Sep 1586] and Alessandro Farnese [05 Oct 1520 – 02 Mar 1589] were sons of Pier Luigi) and Pope Paul III with a Cap (1548; 672x533pix, 21kb)
Tarquin the Elder Consulting Attius Navius (1690, 162x138cm; 480x411pix, 58kb) _ During the war between the Romans and the Sabines in about 290 BC, Tarquin, king of Rome, challenged Attius Navius, a fortuneteller who had denied him the right to make changes in his cavalry, to read his mind. When Navius declared that Tarquin's thought would be accomplished, Tarquin revealed that he thought Navius would cut a whetstone in half with a razor, which he did immediately. Sebastiano Ricci took this subject from Livy's History of Rome, first published in A.D. 14, but he showed Navius cutting a column, a more aesthetic object. Ricci pared the composition down to its dramatic essentials—two large figures making eloquent gestures—and added a recognizable setting and bystanders to create a sense of community. The slightly shadowed mother and child is a typical Ricci motif. Effectively employing the usual Roman Baroque sense of dramatic light and color, he adopted Giovanni Battista Gaulli's strong, rather hot colors for the costumes and the sky. He also adopted the characteristic faces of the child and the man on the extreme left from Gaulli. _ The passage from Ab Urbe Condita 1:36:
Tarquinius equitem maxime suis deesse viribus ratus ad Ramnes, Titienses, Luceres, quas centurias Romulus scripserat, addere alias constituit suoque insignes relinquere nomine. Id quia inaugurato Romulus fecerat, negare Attus Navius, inclitus ea tempestate augur, neque mutari neque novum constitui nisi aves addixissent posse. Ex eo ira regi mota; eludensque artem ut ferunt, “Age dum” inquit, “divine tu, inaugura fierine possit quod nunc ego mente concipio.” Cum ille augurio rem expertus profecto futuram dixisset, “Atqui hoc animo agitavi" inquit, “te novacula cotem discissurum. Cape haec et perage quod aves tuae fieri posse portendunt.” Tum illum haud cunctanter discidisse cotem ferunt.
Perseus Confronting Phineus with the Head of Medusa (1710, 64x77cm; 530x640pix, 82kb) _ In Greek mythology, the hero Perseus was famous for killing Medusa, the snake-haired Gorgon whose grotesque appearance turned men to stone. This painting, however, shows a later episode from the hero's life. At Perseus's and Andromeda's wedding, their nuptials were interrupted by a mob led by Phineus, a disappointed suitor. After a fierce battle, Perseus finally triumphed by brandishing the head of Medusa and turning his opponents into stone. Sebastiano Ricci depicted the fight as a forceful, vigorous battle. In the center, Perseus lunges forward, his muscles taut as he shoves the head of Medusa at Phineus and his men. One man holds up a shield, trying to reflect the horrendous image and almost losing his balance. Behind him, soldiers already turned to stone are frozen in mid-attack. All around, other men have fallen and are dead or dying. Ricci used strong diagonals and active poses to suggest energetic movement.
60 ZOOMable images at Wikimedia
—(060514)
^ Born on 15 May 1864: Wilhelm Hammershøi, Copenhagen painter who died on 13 February 1916. — {Was he hammer shy ever since being hit on the head with one?} — He was the brother and teacher of Svend Hammershøi [10 Aug 1873 – 27 Feb 1948].
— Wilhelm Hammershøi attended the Kongelige Akademi for de Skønne Kunster, Copenhagen, under Frederik Vermehren, between 1879 and 1884. He also studied under Frederik Rohde [1816–1886], Vilhelm Kyhn and Peder Severin Krøyer. Hammershøi's style matured early in his life and did not change much during the 30 years of his career.
     Hammershøi’s first work to be exhibited officially was Portrait of a Young Woman: The Artist’s Sister Anna Hammershøi (1885). In this picture the main characteristics of his distinctive manner of painting portraits and interiors are already evident. He concentrated on the sitter’s expression and stance and omitted anything not essential. The black gown makes a fine point of departure for the blank face, which contrasts with the expressive, fidgety hands, showing the artist’s sympathetic insight into the dreamy world of his younger sister. The simple backdrop — a brownish wall and a white door — emphasizes the image of an isolated figure in an empty room.
— Pintor impresionista y naturalista, uno de los más importantes de Dinamarca. Sus raices se pueden encontrar en la Era Dorada de la tradición de la primera mitad del siglo XIX, aunque permanece profundamente original. Solo maneja un número límitado de géneros bien definidos: interiores - casi siempre de su propia casa - sin ninguna presencia humana, excepto a veces por un caracter femenino, generalmente visto desde atrás, vistas arquitectónicas, paisajes y unos pocos retratos. Hombre secreto y solitario, tuvo pocos amigos. Diaghilev y Rainer Maria Rilke eran sus admiradores. Su obra muestra un parecido extraordinario con algunas tendencias figurativas contemporáneas. Su técnica suave, cautivan la atención de quien lo ve por su enigmática y secreta cualidad y el uso de un limitado rango de colores.
— Vilhelm Hammeshøi durante toda su vida se circunscribió a unos cuantos motivos pictóricos: retratos de familiares y amigos cercanos, pinturas de interior de su hogar, edificios monumentales de Copenhague y Londres, y paisajes de Selandia. Los mismos motivos reaparecen una y otra vez. No hay acción en sus cuadros; a éstos los impregna una actitud fundamental y determinada: tras la calma extrema y la inmovilidad, se percibe el acecho de un elemento indefinible y amenazador. Su escala de colores es muy limitada y la domina una variación de tonos grises. Hammershøi fue alumno en la Academia de Arte en Copenhague de 1879 a 1884 y, en 1883, fue además alumno de Krøyer en la Escuela Libre de Estudios para Artistas. A su debut en Charlottenborg en Copenhague, en 1885, había ya encontrado su forma de expresión. Su arte despertó gran admiración, pero también indignación en los círculos más conservadores de la vida artística, siendo rechazados sus trabajos en 1888 y en 1890 por el comité de censura de las exposiciones de la Academia. Ese rechazo fue uno de los motivos por los que, en 1891, y a iniciativa de Johan Rohde, se organizara la Exposición Libre. No fue sino hasta después de 1900 que recibió un reconocimiento oficial. Hammershøi iba frecuentemente de viaje, especialmente a Paris, Londres, Holanda e Italia. No obstante, y a pesar de que se podía identificar rasgos familiares en la pintura internacional de la época entre diferentes artistas, especialmente J.M. Whistler, no es posible encontrar prototipos propiamente dichos para el arte de Hammershøi.
— “Hammershøi is not one of those one need talk about in a rush. His work is long and slow and at whatever moment one turns to it, it will always offer ample reason to talk about the most crucial and fundamental things in art.” (Rainer Maria Rilke, 1905) In his own lifetime he was one of the most celebrated artists in Europe. Thereafter his work descended almost fully into oblivion outside his home country, Denmark. Many of Hammershøi’s paintings are interior views of his own apartment in Copenhagen. Resembling a non-stop inner monologue he portrays in a few muted tones and with decisive geometrical stringency his sparsely-furnished apartment. His doors spit insults, the floorboards remain silent. It’s almost as if painting had departed, leaving the world behind it as an interior.
     Hammershøi’s paintings also include deserted city views and landscapes, as well as enigmatic nudes and portrait paintings. While Hammershøi’s oeuvre speaks entirely for itself, it nonetheless contains visible references to turn-of-the-century Symbolist art movements that reach far beyond Scandinavia. Accordingly Hammershøi can best be appreciated in the context of contemporaries such as Ferdinand Hodler, Fernand Khnopff, Edgar Degas, Emil Nolde, and Félix Valotton. Among them Hammershøi is a major protagonist of the Symbolist movement. Only in the last few years has Vilhelm Hammershøi’s fascinating oeuvre regained international attention.

LINKS
Hvile (1905; 700x631pix, 172kb) almost monochrome
Warning: all the following links are to images that are small; and some of them are of inferior quality.
Self Portrait
The painter and his wife (1898)
The painter's sister (1885)
InWeiße Türen/Offene Türen (1904)
Intérieur (1904) (part of a dining room)
Gentofter See (1903)
Fredriksborg Castle (1894)
Interior (1906?? =1899 !)
The British Museum (1905)
Specks of Dust in the Sun's Rays (1900)
Ida Isted (1890)
Amalienborg Square (1896)
The Music Room (1907)
Nude (1909)
The four rooms (1914)
Interior (1899, 64x58cm) _ As in this case, the interiors by the Danish artist Hammershøi are usually of his own house in Copenhagen. Several others also include a figure seen from behind, but many are of the empty rooms. He travelled and exhibited in Europe, and was well known in London early in this century. He had lived here in 1896-1897, partly in the hope of meeting Whistler, whom he admired. — In December 1898 Hammershøi moved into the old merchant house at Strandgade 30, Copenhagen, built in 1636. This painting portrays one of its rooms, and the model is his wife Ida, whom he married in 1891. The table was originally larger and filled most of the foreground, and the figure was added at the end. Pencil underdrawing is visible through the paint layer. The artist painted the interior of this house more than sixty times, sometimes portraying empty rooms, sometimes including the figure of his wife in a long black dress. She is either viewed in profile or from the back, often reading a letter or a book. In all the interiors a sense of stillness prevails, and they show the influence of 17th-century Dutch painting, particularly that of Jan Vermeer.
Interiør, Strandgarde 30, med ung kvinde set fra ryggen (1904) _ The symbolism from about 1900 can be seen in works of L.A.Ring, Vilhelm Hammershøi, Ejnar Nielsen and J.F. Willumsen etc. An example is this Hammerhøi picture of a woman standing with her back turned at the observer. The secrecy of the figure, the big empty wall spaces , the asceticism of the architectonic style and the colors gives the picture an evocative character that suggest a number of symbolical meanings surpassing the mere perception of the painting.
Study (Baker shop) (1888, 113x91cm) _ This is Hammershøi's first study in full size. It is characterized by a strict, horizontal composition. In the foreground is the shop counter, in the background the shelves. The room is dark, with a soft light coming in from the left. Behind the counter, separated from the spectator, is a young girl with her back turned. The bread and cakes in the shop are hardly visible, and it is obvious that the composition, not the situation, was what interested Hammershøi. He doesn't paint a girl working, but a soft shape contrasting with the straight lines of the rest of the room. The beauty of the lines and shapes is the real theme of the image.
 
^ Died on 15 May 1789: Jean~Baptiste~Marie Pierre, French painter, printmaker, draftsman and administrator, born on 06 March 1714.
— Although he painted a number of rustic genre scenes and was an occasional designer of vases and picture frames, he was principally active as a painter of large-scale history and religious works. In this aspect of his output he forms a link in the 18th-century tradition of French history painting that runs from Jean Jouvenet to the Neo-classicism of Jacques-Louis David.
— Among his students he had Jean-Jacques Bachelier, Etienne-Louis Boullée, Louis(-Jean)-Jacques Durameau, Nicolas-René Jollain, Etienne de Lavallée-Poussin, Jean-Jacques-François Lebarbier, Lorens Pasch [1733-1805], (Jean-)Hugues Taraval, Jean-Baptiste Tierce, Antoine Vestier.

LINKS
The Abduction of Europa (1759, 51x69cm) — Winner of the Rome Prize, academician, Academy director, First Painter to the Duke of Orléans, then to the King, he attempted to impose the supremacy of history painting.
— A Hero Welcomed into Olympus, aka The Invocation (1765, 72x62cm oval). _ Study for an unexecuted {it was given a pardon?} ceiling, probably intended for the Orléans family. The hero is welcomed by Juno, Jupiter, Minerva, Diana and Neptune.
Junon Demandant à Vénus sa Ceinture (1748, 145x200cm)
Junon Trompant Jupiter avec la Ceinture de Vénus (1748, 145x200cm) commandé par Louis XV pour l'appartement du Dauphin
Un Pont (1749, 59x73cm)
Old Man in the Kitchen (1745, 130x97cm; 575x423pix, 70kb)
 
^ Born on 15 May 1838: Nicolae Grigorescu, Romanian painter who died on 21 July 1907.
— His father, Ion Grigorescu, died in 1845 and the whole family went to live in Bucharest. From 1848 to 1851 he was an apprentice of Czech icon painter Anton Chladek in Buchares. He produced icons and religious mural decorations. These works, which soon attracted attention, were influenced in style by the Viennese classicism widespread in the Romanian principalities in the early 19th century and by the Italian academicism established there after 1850 by Gheorghe Tattarescu. The earliest of his known paintings are in the church of Saints Constantin and Elena at Baicoi, where his signature can be seen beside that of Nita Pîrîescu on the icon of Saint George (1853). He subsequently painted a series of icons (1854–1855) at Caldarusani Monastery. In the later ensembles he was assisted by his older brother Georghe Grigorescu, who participated Autoportretunder his direction in the decoration of churches, such as those of the Zamfira (1856–1858) and Agapia (1858–1860) monasteries. In Nicolae’s paintings at Agapia, classicism in Romanian art reached its highest point. The royal icons are distinguished for the elegance of the figures, both in their attitudes and in their drapery. The murals include some portraits from life. In the compositions, Grigorescu used engravings after Western masters, but the coloring is entirely his own, as is the harmony created by his luminous tones and, in some places, their aerial transparency. In these early years he also painted some secular works, including a sensitive Self-Portrait (1856) [<<<]. In 1861 he obtained a scholarship to go to Paris, where he studied under Sébastien Cornu and then Charles Gleyre [02 May 180605 May 1874], copied paintings at the Louvre, and, in 1863, established his workshop at 23, rue du Cherche-Midi. He made occasional visits back to Romania, participated in the Barbizon painters' 1868 exhibition, traveled in France and, in 1873-1875 to Vienna, Trieste, Venice, Rome, Naples, Athens, and Constantinopole. As front painter, he joined the troops in the 1877-1878 Independence War, and realised drawings which were to inspire his later compositions. One year after the Independence War he would paint in France, mostly in Bretagne, at Vitre, and at his Paris studio for twelve years (1879-1890). After his coming back, a succession of personal exhibitions would be organized at the Romanian Athenaeum in 1891, 1895, 1900, 1901, 1902, 1904. He built a house at Campina, later to become the Nicolae Grigorescu Museum. At the dawn of modern Romanian culture, a time originating Eminescu's poetical genius, the pictorial language of Grigorescu became highly innovative. Grigorescu's painting art, diverse as it was, from that of a young mural painter to that of one familiar with Impressionism, was always outstanding. Father of modern Romanian painting, with Andreescu and Luchian as successors, Grigorescu was the great master worshipped by new generations of Romanian artists early in the 20th century. The uniqueness of his style can be seen in portraits (D. Grecescu, Carol Davila, Andreescu at Barbizon), in self-portraits, in his compositions on the Independence War (Atacul de la Smardan/Attack at Smardan, Rosior calare/A mounted rosior, Scenele cu prizonieri turci/Scenes with Turkish prisoners), in his several Oxen Carts pictures, in the country landscapes and the landscapes painted elsewhere (La Posada/At Posada, Pescarita din Granville/The Grainville Fisherwoman, Raspantie in oras la Vitre/Crossroads at Vitre, Batrana din Brolle/The Old Woman in Brolle, Bordei in padure/A Wood Hut, Peisaj de toamna/An Autumn Landscape). His French "plein-air" experience matured into bringing light in his work and into rendering his composition genuinely rigorous and spontaneous. The reality in his pictures is profoundly unaltered. The "secret geometry" of the picture keeps it unaltered, while, in the forefront, events seem to take place and the colors are bewildering. Grasping reality as the light changes it was one of the painter's great pleasures. In doing so he never got tired with the visible world. He was not prone to looking for picturesque in it, but to finding the valuable depth of a too common reality.
— Ioan Andreescu was an assistant and Gheorghe Petrascu a student of Nicolae Grigorescu.
A 100'000 lei banknote was issued in November 2001 honoring Grigorescu.

LINKS
Self-Portrait (578x420pix, 88kb)
By the Sea (1885, 95x55cm; 539x380pix, 61kb)
Taranca de la Munte (582x438pix, 153kb)
Crossroads at Vitre / Raspintie in oras la Vitre (413x330pix, 75kb)
Taranca din Muscel (560x411pix, 115kb)
Fetita cu Basma Rosie (665x578pix, 180kb)
Peasant Woman Wearing an Embroidered Silk Headkerchief / Taranca cu marama (413x250pix, 53kb)
Attack at Smardan / Atacul de la Smardan (283x537pix, 70kb)
Girls working in front of the Gate / Fete lucrand la poarta (424x602pix, 184kb)
Peisaj din gradina (232x360pix, 19kb) — Ciobanas pe plai (224x360pix, 11kb)
Car cu boi in lunca (254x360pix, 12kb) — Ciobanas (360x230pix, 14kb)
Taranca in fata vetrei (275x360pix, 14kb) — Ursareasa din Bolduri (360x188pix, 6kb)
114 images at dntis.ro (many are in black-and-white)

—//— The Agapia frescoes:
     The interior wall frescoes painted by Grigorescu when he was 20 confer to the Agapia Monastery a particular value. He painted them between 1858 and 1862. Their special beauty results from a synthesis between the Byzantine tradition, the neoclassical style, and particular elements of the Romanian art. In the period when the main restoration works were taking place at Agapia under the guidance of the abbess Tavefta Ursache, Grigorescu was in the Neamt Monastery painting icons. One of these icons was seen by the Agapia's abbess, who proposed to the painter to paint the interior of the Church of the Saints Archangels.
      The Angel parting from Tobias
was inspired by Rembrandt, The Setting of Christ into the Sepulchre by Titian. The Last Supper, The Holy Trinity, The Agony in the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus Carrying His Cross, are a few of those paintings which fascinate by their expressiveness and color. The painter commented: “For me the saints were alive, I was standing shyly in front of them and I was certain that there were looking at me, I was expecting them to talk to me and to see them moving and raising their hands to bless me.
      After finishing his work in Agapia, Grigorescu left for Barbizon, where he joined the group of romantic paysagists.

Sfânta Treime (604x804pix, 66kb) _ detail 1 (600x431pix, 23kb) the Father — detail 2 (600x431pix, 27kb) angel holding the cross
Maica Domnului (604x454pix, 37kb)
Icoana Maicii Domnului (604x404pix, 33kb)
Mântuitorul Iisus Hristos (604x404pix, 28kb)
Iisus Hristos pe Golgota (604x454pix, 41kb)

Details:
Moise, minunea izvorârii apei din piatra (600x431pix, 32kb)
Sfântul Prooroc David (600x874pix, 60kb)
— Ieremia plângând ruinele Ierusalimului detail 1 (600x874pix, 57kb) _ detail 2 (600x431pix, 36kb) _ detail 3 (600x431pix, 32kb)
Intrarea Mântuitorului în Ierusalim (600x874pix, 54kb)
Maica Domnului cu Pruncul (600x431pix, 33kb)
— Iisus prezicând ruinarea Ierusalimului detail 1 (600x874pix, 53kb) _ detail 2 (600x431pix, 28kb)
Sfântul Evanghelist Ioan (600x874pix, 51kb)
Sfântul Ierarh Ioan (600x431pix, 31kb)
Sfântul Ierarh Spiridon (600x874pix, 46kb)
Sfântul Ierarh Nicolae (600x874pix, 47kb)
Sfântul Ierarh Alexandru (600x874pix, 48kb)
Sfântul Ierarh Vlasie (600x874pix, 45kb)
Sfântul Ierarh Grigorie (600x874pix, 54kb)
Sfântul Mucenic Eustatiu Placid (600x874pix, 49kb)
Sfântul Mucenic Teodor (600x874pix, 48kb)
Sfânta Cuvioasa Olimpiada (601x875pix, 76kb)
Sfânta Cuvioasa Elisabeta (600x874pix, 56kb)
Sfânta Cuvioasa Epraxia (600x874pix, 65kb)
Sfânta Mucenita Ecaterina (600x874pix, 59kb)
Sfânta Mucenita Varvara (600x874pix, 63kb)
Sfânta Mucenita Tecla (600x874pix, 57kb)
 

Died on a 15 May:


1967 Edward Hopper, US painter born (full coverage) on 22 July 1882. —(080514)

1956 Austin Osman Spare [31 Dec 1888–], British painter, writer and ocultist. —(080514)

1952 Niles Maurice Spencer, US painter born (full coverage) on 16 May 1893. —(060512)

^ 1908 Charles Frederick Ulrich, US artist born on 18 October 1858 in New York. He began his art studies at the Cooper Institute and the National Academy, New York, and from 1875 to 1881 continued them under Ludwig Lofftz and Wilhelm Lindenschmit at the Royal Academy in Munich. In 1879 he gained a bronze medal there. For several years he followed his profession in New York, but about 1884 he went to Venice, Italy. He was elected an associate of the National academy in 1883, and received the Thomas B. Clarke prize there the following year for his In the Land of Promise. He has made several carefully and realistically painted genre pictures, among which are The Wood-Engraver (1882); The Glass-Blowers and The Carpenter (1883); A Dutch Type-Setter; The Waifs (1885); and Washing of Feet in the Venice Cathedral. — LINKS
A Dutch Type Setter (33x22cm)
An Amateur Etcher aka An Etcher in His Studio (1882, 30x22cm)
Granny (1885, 25x31cm)
Italian Idyll (75x111cm)
The Flowers (35x29cm)
Washerwomen (58x37cm)
Washerwomen, Seville (1889, 48x61cm)
Waifs, Haarlem, Holland (1885, 51x64cm; 472x640pix, 57kb)
Young Woman Seated (42x26cm; 600x341pix, 42kb)
A Woman (1885, 42x27cm) —(060512)

1904 Mosè di Giosuè Bianchi, Italian painter born (full coverage) on 13 October 1840. —(051012)

^ 1891 Edwin Long (or Longsden), English painter born on 12 July 1829. He was taught by John ‘Spanish’ Phillip and began his career painting portraits and Spanish subjects, such as Dialogus diversus (1873). However, he became successful and rich with very large historical and biblical subjects such as the Babylonian Marriage Market (1875), which changed hands in his lifetime for immense sums. His choice of subject-matter was indebted to the example of Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema, while his style closely resembles that of Edward Armitage. His success enabled him to commission two houses (1878 and 1887), both in Hampstead, from Richard Norman Shaw. He was elected ARA in 1876 and RA in 1881. — LINKS
Love's Labour Lost (1885; _ ZOOMable)
The Date Seller (107x84cm) — Anno Domini
Woman Carrying a Basket Full of Pomegranates (149x84cm)
To Her Listening Ear Responsive Chords of Music Came Familiar
Alethe, Attendant of the Sacred Ibis in the Temple of Isis (1887)
A Spanish Flower SellerPeter Douglas Esquire
Preparing For The Festival Of Anubis (1889, 108x154cm)
The Approval (1873, 122x168cm)
An Egyptian Feast (1877)

1859 Lancelot~Théodore Turpin comte de Crissé, French painter born (full coverage) on 06 July 1782.

^ 1854 Hendrik Reekers, Dutch artist born on 21 September 1815. The Haarlem artist Hendrik Reekers studied at the local Stadstekenschool from 1830 to 1834. From 1837 he worked as a drawing teacher, later focusing more and more on painting, specializing in flower and fruit still-lifes. In 1843 he became a member of the Royal Academy in Amsterdam.
A vase of flowers on a marble ledge (40x34cm; 480x382pix, 53kb)
Fruit, Flowers and Game on a Marble Ledge (1844, 103x81cm; 480x566pix, 49kb)

^ 1793 Peter Adolf Hall, Swedish painter and collector born on 23 February 1739. In 1753 he attended Uppsala Universitet to study medicine and natural history. In 1755 he went on a study trip abroad, led by his drawing-master Lars Brisman. While in Germany (1756–1759) he studied miniature painting with Eichhardt in Berlin and with Karl Friedrich Wilhelm Richard (1725–1770) in Hamburg. After this trip, he decided to become a professional portrait painter, and in 1759 he enrolled at the Kungliga Akademi för de Fria Konsterna in Stockholm, studying drawing with the French sculptor Pierre-Hubert Larchéveque [1721–1778] and painting with Gustaf Lundberg. He attracted the attention of C. F. Adelcrantz, who in 1766 gained for him a commission for the pastel portrait of Princes Karl and Fredrik Adolf. In that year he also executed a miniature portrait of Crown Prince Gustav on the occasion of his engagement to Princess Sophia Magdalena of Denmark. Also in 1766 he received a royal travel grant to study in Paris, where he developed a completely new technique of miniature painting using sweeping brushwork and a clear and fresh range of colour that allowed for lively characterization. He made exquisite detailed studies of the backgrounds of his paintings, as well as his sitters’ costumes and their attributes and accessories. His new technique involved applying gouache to the ivory in a manner that allowed the ivory to show through, a method that was particularly successful in depicting drapery. The smooth surface of the ivory also allowed freer brushwork associated with full-scale portraits.
The Painter's Family (1776, 9x11cm)
The Painter's Daughter, Adelaide Victorine (1785, 9x11cm)

>1789 Jean-Baptiste Marie Pierre, French painter and engraver born in 1713. — LINKS —(080514)

1782 Richard Wilson, Welsh painter born (full coverage) on 01 August 1713.

^ 1665 Claes Wou, Dutch artist [of Chinese origin?] born in 1592.
English Ships in a Rough Sea (15x23cm) _ A fleet of merchant vessels is going through in a storm. The principal ship in the foreground is English and flies the Saint-George flag from the mainmast and what may be intended as the striped ensign of the East India company from the stern on which is the painted or carved figure of Fortune, in the form of a naked female figure. She holds a billowing sail, an attribute of Fortune demonstrating that like the wind she is unpredictable, bestowing her favours at random. A ship at sea is similarly subject to the whim of the elements. Six figures are shown on board to remind the viewer of the possible implications of the storm for humanity. In the foreground on the left is a sea monster and on the right a barrel in the trough of the wave. There are two ships in the distance on the left, pitching and tossing in the waves, and one on the right. The waves, sky, pitching and angle of the ships, together with the depiction of light and dark, combine to create the effect of vessels in danger in the open sea with no land in view, at the mercy of the elements and the gods. The inclusion of the monster and the barrel point to the implicit allegory of the ship as a vessel bearing mankind and the human soul across the perilous seas of life, the dangers of the passage (represented by the monster) and the propitiatory gifts or prayers offered by the devout for safety, indicated by the barrel. The artist has shown members of the crew to indicate that they are in control and will steer the ship to safety but must exercise vigilance, care and watchfulness. There is an emphasis on human perseverance in the face of great peril. The artist was a painter in the Flemish tradition who was born and died in Amsterdam. He painted a number of pictures of storms, in the style of Porcellis, as well as sea battles.


Born on a 15 May:


1952 Federico Amat, Spanish painter. —(080514)

^ 1930 Jasper Johns, Jr., US painter and printmaker. — LINKS —(080514)

^ >1848 Viktor Mikhailovich Vasnetsov, [–23 Jul 1926], Russian painter.— Brother of Apollinary Mikhailovich Vasnetsov [06 Aug 1856 – 23 Jan 1933] — .Biography at WikipediaBiography at Olga's GalleryLINKS
The Flying Carpet (1880; 1300x2362pix, 481kb).
The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse (1887; 1200x2290pix, 634kb _ .ZOOM to 1618x3088pix, 362kb) _ commentary at Folknation _ _ This has been transformed by the pseudonymous Victus Myrainowitch Vastsoviet into a series of colorful and finely detailed abstractions which can be reached by clicks of the mouse from any one of them, for example the asymmetrical:
      _ The Four Hoarse Men (2008; 550x778pix, 177kb _ ZOOM 1 to 778x1100pix, 389kb _ ZOOM 2 to 1100x1556pix, 866kb _ ZOOM 3 to 1880x2658pix, 2730kb _ ZOOM 4 to 2658x3760pix, 5413kb) or the symmetrical
      _ The Apology of Calypso (2008; 550x778pix, 172kb _ ZOOM 1 to 778x1100pix, 384kb _ ZOOM 2 to 1100x1556pix, 850kb _ ZOOM 3 to 1880x2658pix, 2058kb _ ZOOM 4 to 2658x3760pix, 5216kb)
The Three Bogatyrs (1898; 1200x1825pix, 1570kb) _ The three knights, (left to right in the picture) Dobrynya Nikitich, Ilya Muromets, Alyosha Popovich, are the heroes of many legends. Each character has his own set of legends. Though every hero had his own adventures, every one defended his land, the poor, and fought the enemies of Russia; and they were all adored by the people. Here they are depicted them together, guarding the Russian borders.
The Mother of God (1901; 1200x1600 pix, 1070kb) _ .main detail (1285x795pix, 91kb)
The Entombment of Christ (1896; 1032x1504 pix, 1070kb _ .ZOOM to cropped picture, 928x1404pix, 99kb, enlarged without the elaborate wide margins).
The Holy Trinity (1200x1600pix, 1103kb _ .ZOOM to cropped picture, 1503x1292pix, 144kb, enlarged)
199 images at Wikimedia some very large, some very small. —(081107)

^ 1842 Gustav Károly Sopron Igler, Hungarian genre painter who died in 1908. Born in Oldenburg, he was the student of Waldmuller in Vienna and Ramberg in Munich and later became Professor of the Stuttgart School of Fine Art.
Ébredezo kisfiú (43x55 cm; 600x785pix, 116kb)
Playing Mother (1887, 91x61cm; 500x364pix, 42kb)
In Detention (183x500pix, 25kb) schoolboys of about 4th grade.

^ 1628 conte Carlo Cignani, Italian painter and draftsman who died on 06 September1719. He was a student of Albani, but his style is closer to that of Guido Reni. He was the leading master in Bologna during the later decades of the 17th century, commanding a position of authority comparable to that of Carlo Maratti in Rome. He bore the title of Conte, and his biographer Giovan Pietro Zanotti wrote that he ‘always worked for glory, not for need’. Zanotti’s emphasis on Cignani’s ‘new manner’ refers to the reflective, intimate mood of his art, presaged in the later pictures of Guido Reni and Guercino, and in those of Simone Cantarini. This gentle manner, which prevailed in the second half of the 17th century, marks a break with the more energetic style of earlier Bolognese classicism.
— Among Cignani's assistants were Federico Bencovich, Marcantonio Franceschini (from 1665 to 1680), Alessandro Marchesini, Giovanni Camillo Sagrestani.
— Among Cignari's students were Giacomo Antonio Boni, Francesco Caccianiga, Giuseppe Maria Crespi, Marcantonio Franceschini, Ferdinando Galli-Bibiena, Francesco Galli-Bibiena, Maria Oriana Galli-Bibiena, Bonaventura Lamberti, Marco Benefial, Francesco Mancini, Giuseppe Mazza, Antoine Rivalz, Ignaz Stern, Emilio Taruffi.
Etching Portrait of Carlo Cignani, after Carlo Maratta (1768, 13x10cm oval in 45x32cm rectangle adorned with a winged Father Time, two baby angels, draperies, and a painter's palette and brushes; full size, 541kb)
LINKS
Charity (119x161cm; 1/8 size, 22kb _ ZOOM to 1/4 size, 84kb _ ZOOM+ to half~size, 318kb)
Joseph and Potiphar's Wife (1680, 99x99cm, 920x900pix, 92kb)
Shepherd and Shepherdess (102x127cm; 575x725pix, 163kb) crowded with flute, two babies, goat, jar; vague landscape background..
Magdalen (round 500x500pix, 56kb)
Tarquinius and Lucretia —(060512)


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